Notes From July: Cheddar Rosemary Scones

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


-Scones fix the butthurt.-

So I’m dealing with a lot of butthurt now. Not the proctological kind, but the emotional kind.

(Detour: I’m rather amused with myself as I think this is the first time I have ever had the opportunity to write out the word “proctological.” Yes, we’ll call it an opportunity. Like Daryl Hannah and “gargantuan” in Kill Bill. I’m glad I spelled it right the first time, too, so go me.)

Anyways. Yes. Butthurt. I’ve had to kindly let down a few people about the wedding. During lunch the other day a sometimes-in-town friend-slash-acquaintance began asking about various wedding plans.

I am the wedding person amongst people I know and amongst people I don’t. It’s my identity now. I do not exist outside of it. In fact, random strangers who hear me going on about the topic (and can I go on though honestly and often it is against my will) will come up and congratulate me. I find it endearing and thank them.

Sometimes, they ask what her name is and when I say his name they get a bit confused or taken aback. Some find it awkward and shuffle away. Most don’t miss a beat and offer their well wishes and possibly an apology for the assumption.

Many more simply ask, “What’s your partner’s name?” This makes me wonder if I’m really that obviously gay or if Sacramento is just ahead of the socially aware curve.

I’m getting sidetracked again. I blame it on 'muh brain meats being swallowed by The Wedding.

-So little brain meats left to my... something.-

So the friend was ecstatic and mentioned that he hadn’t yet got his invitation in the mail. The reason for this is because one had not sent out. Rather intentionally.

So that was awkward. In fact, the awkwardness of it was gargantuan. I explained that it was a small thing of about sixty people. Close friends, almost 85% family from both sides and not counting outliers. I also explained that we were keeping the cost rather fiscally sound because why throw your money at a giant party when you could put it aside for a home down payment? Let’s be frank: each guest costs a certain amount to have, and I can’t fret about the fact that people might be upset that I don’t have more money to spend.

It’s not that I don’t want everyone there. I do. I honestly, really do. Understand, though, I work as a freelance writer and at a nonprofit, and Fiance' is in school and the reserves. There is no bride, and therefore no father of the bride to pay for everything like in a straight wedding. We’re doing what works best for us and I really don’t want to have to apologize for it. We ain't exactly sipping Cristal, here. More like Crystal Light.

I also have issues with crowds. Theme parks make me panic and after about twenty minutes in a crowded mall I just want to steal the security cop's tazer and volt everyone into blissful, quiet unconsciousness. So sixty people focused on me and Fiance is already freaking us both out a bit. I've asked my mom to keep a watch on me in case I panic and start punching out my loved ones. 

I said this all much kinder than that at lunch, of course. He was understanding and polite. Not too butthurt, but a little and I get it. And I feel bad about it. 

He told me not to worry, but I will because that’s how I roll. We made plans to get together and have drinks and kick back. I promised a future party would be held post-honeymoon that would be fueled by some retro music that I’m loving right now and probably a few pitchers of my new favorite sangria recipe. If you haven’t had it then please go try it and report back when sober.

-Go on. I'll wait.-

Other things going on that are not W-Day:

I am desperate to try making my own fried chicken. I realized that I never have and this probably means I’m unpatriotic. Romney would probably not approve, but I doubt we’d be besties anyways. I am wavering between the Ad Hoc recipe, my Conference Boyfriend’s recipe, and the Serious Eats recipe. I may well combine them all into a Frankenstein’s fried chicken. If any of you have tried any of these recipes then your feedback is most encouraged.

I am terrified that a competitor’s book has come out. My editor tells me not to worry and that Melt will blow it out of the water and that it is an altogether different beast. This does not ease my well-raised hackles. Still, I’m not worried because I heard that this book can actually give you cancer. So yeah, just passing that along.

I am loving this article on book covers. Engaging and intriguing, though cookbooks I feel will never go fully digital. Too much water, dirty hands, and bubbling oil to destroy your e-reader with. I wonder if Melt could have an interactive e-cover?

My buddy Irvin made this. I want it. I assume you do, too. Plus, he always has such a fine flare for design and I believe he may very well be the Typology Whisperer.

A toll road worker threatened to take my picture if I didn't pay him $20 on a $5 toll road. I told him he was an ass. After a fight where he yelled at me in broken English and standoff where I refused to move my car I finally got correct change. I am still half certain a bill will come in the mail with a photo of me on it and that shit will have to go down. Five minutes after this happened a drunk driver ran me off the road. I was unhurt. Five minutes after I finally recovered and was no longer a shaking mess? Speeding ticket for going 5 miles over the limit. Gotta love it. Where are the cops when you need them?

It’s been rather hot outside. A solid week of 100+ weather, that has been suddenly followed by a brief respite of 60 degree clouds, wind, and rain. It’s like California forgot to take its Ritalin or something. I anticipate screaming temperatures again soon, but today is a fine day to make scones.

Scones are something I crave often and due to their ease and the fact they are infinitely adaptable I make them often. I’ll even make them in 100 degree heat. This is saying something since my kitchen is floored with ceramic tiles and turning on the oven hotboxes the room pretty hard. It’ll stay 350 in there for hours on end. Still, totally worth it.

These scones were made with some of my rosemary, which is just adoring this miserly heat; and some leftover bits of cheddar I had in the fridge from recipe testing for Anita Chu's and Stephanie Shih's gorgeous new food rag. (Pick up a copy. You must. All the cool food people are.) If you don't have cream, milk or buttermilk will work fine. They are scones. If you don't have cream you will forgive yourself and the scones will forgive you, too.

Extra cheese or cheeses that are not cheddar are dandy. I tossed in a pinch of rather ranky and possibly past its prime Valdeon and I’ve survived. I consider myself a stronger person for it.


Cheddar Rosemary Scones
7 ounces bread flour
1 ounces sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces shredded cheddar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
pinch of cayenne
7 ounces cream

1. Whisk together the bread flour, salt, sugar, cayenne, and baking powder. Next, whisk in the 5 ounces of the cheddar and the rosemary.

2. Add the cream and use your hands to gently bring together the ingredients. If you need to add a bit more cream then do so judiciously. It will be sticky and clumpy. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead twice (push-squish and push-squish, done).

3. Form the dough into a disc and cut into 6-8 pieces. Brush the tops with a bit more cream and top with remaining cheese.

4. Bake at 425F for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

36 comments:

  1. It is unfortunate that so many people don't truly appreciate the concept of a dollar sign stitched to their chest in regards to events like these. You end up with, say, an in-law family of 5 who RSVPed to your wedding not show up after you've had to gently tell a number of people in your family that our funds cannot support inviting all of our Irish Catholic descendants. You also find yourself spending money on throwing showers for siblings, only to have their future in-laws try to invite God and country. Not that these have ever happened to me. Ahem.

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    1. Nice. Luckily, the family is Pres/Episc. so we stay small. ;)

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  2. I really like the Ad Hoc chicken but I say do the frankenchicken. I rarely make fried chicken 'cause it's so messy but it is devilishly good.

    I think anyone worth their salt will understand about the small wedding. And I'm with you on the crowds thing. My boyfriend drove by this place he wanted to go in Oakland last week and I looked at the overcrowded patio and said, "Yeah, I can't go to that place. Beer Revolution next time I'm in town maybe. Right now, how about a quiet dive bar?"

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    1. First warning sign was "Oakland."

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    2. Haha! I like that a lot of people think that. My boyfriend lives there and there's actually a lot of great food and drink stuff going on in that town right now.

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  3. I too am doing the small wedding this for 60....but it is not unusual for em to throw big parties so many people think they are invited. I got to use a particularly snaky response when someone (who had no chance in hell being invited even if P Diddy was footing the bill) said I can't WAIT for your wedding....to which I responded.....I know you will just LOVE seeing the pictures on Facebook!

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    1. Thanks, Steph! I'm looking forward to it too. =)

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  4. I've been making fried chicken for a while now (almost 6 years and I'm only 19). After trying out so many different recipes I've decided the secret is letting the cut pieces of chicken sit in buttermilk overnight. Also it helps to cook white meat and dark meat in different batches so nothing gets under or over cooked. Don't skimp on the salt :)

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    1. Thanks for the advice, E. And I NEVER skimp on salt. ;)

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  5. Sod the people who do not understand. The wedding is about the two people getting married, not who is and who is not invited.

    If I ever get married, I would like to have an extremely private ceremony with only a few people present. Then, of course, there would be a big party, but on a separate day.

    And please make my recipe. Thomas Keller won't even notice if you make his.

    xo,

    You Conference Boyfriend

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    1. Will do and will report back, sir.

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  6. I was just waiting for you to say your friend exploded at you about not being invited-- I'm so glad they took it so well! I was about to tell you to submit your story to http://www.etiquettehell.com/, or more specifically, their wedding site http://weddinghellsbells.com/ which has just archives and archives of people asking where their invitation is and then pitch a fit upon finding they're not invited (or worse, show up anyway).

    Lucky you!!

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    Replies
    1. I just read through that entire site. Love it! Thanks for the rec, Emily.

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  7. I really loved reading this post. Do I always say that? Sorry, I say that when I read something from start to finish and smile all the way through.

    You're totally allowed to talk about nothing but wedding stuff with me! I'm gettin' hitched in late February.

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    1. Yay! We should hang out soon (how have we never done that yet?!) and be all bridal together. ;)

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  8. Wedding planning sucks: there is no getting around it. I have NO idea why women dream of this all of their lives - it's hell. But I can tell you, three lovely years of marriage in, that the butthurt that is wedding-planning fades and all that is left are glorious memories of a wonderfully special time with the one, and the ones, you love.

    Until then: I recommend booze. Lots of booze.

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    Replies
    1. Way ahead of you. It's why martini glasses were on the registry.

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  9. The Ad Hoc recipe is amazing. Make it. There are no others worth making.

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  10. I feel your pain. I have a few friends who felt slighted when they weren't invited to our wedding. You have to end the list somewhere though. From my own wedding experience, I concluded, you can't please everyone - and why should you?

    I can't see the point in a big wedding anyway. Ours was relatively small and I barely got around to talking to everyone that day. Small gatherings are so much better.

    Those scones look yummy!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I am worried I won't be able to talk to everyone or even really see everyone as it is. =(

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  11. Of those, I've only made the Ad Hoc recipe, and it was the best fried chicken I've ever had.

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  12. Sorry to hear about your wedding woes. All I can say is I hope you have a lovely ceremony and enjoy it. Oh, and good luck! :)
    As for these scones...It's summer and it's picnic weather(for a change). And I have fresh rosemary. It feels very fitting.

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    1. Let me know how they turn out! =D

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  13. Awesome post, as usual!

    Don't worry about the wedding invites. The only weddings I've been to (my mothers wedding not included) were ones where family members had to cancel which left spots for other friends. I typically don't assume to be invited to such personal events, so those invites were a very pleasant surprise. But, had I not been invited, it wouldn't have changed my friendship with said people.

    If I use plain all purpose flour will it kill the scones?

    And, can you make the dough the night before, refrigerate it and then use it in the morning?

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    1. Corinne: All purpose will be fine. As for making it the night before? Don't. These only take about 5 minutes to make. =)

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    2. Thank you! I'm going to make these Sunday morning - I can't wait!

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  14. That is a "gorgeous new food rag" and I must have it! Thanks for sharing.

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  15. I loved the retro music! I am going out for Cointreau for sangria, and have put an order in for fresh rosemary with daughter who's boyfriend is a plant maven.
    Gee, is it just me? When a friend's son did not invite us to his wedding, I sent a gift anyway. I was tempted to say "Thank you for not inviting us." And I would have meant it! Great kids, I am sure wedding was designed for them and their (young energetic) friends, and we old folks were much happier left to our own devices. So do not worry about a limited invite list, every invite list is limited by something. Remember the last Brit wedding, where there was a budget few could match, and still there was snark about who got invited and who didn't. Don't worry about it.
    Good luck and post the fried chicken recipe if you get a great one. I hate making it, and I am Southern. And mine is never as good as my mother's anyway.

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    1. Thanks burnttoast. Here is hoping I don't burn down the kitchen.

      As for the wedding? I think you did right. ;)

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  16. You're hilarious! And yes, weddings are stressful. At least it hasn't affected your scone-making skills.

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  17. Wow, the Ad Hoc fried chicken sounds like it's worth making ! But, I still think you should make all of them so you can learn as much as you can about it..(then you get to eat it three times !)

    Weddings are stressful, no matter what. I think you are doing great and it will be fabulous. My husband chickened out twice and the third time he decided he was ready, I had six days. We invited about 15 people, cake, photographer and my parents backyard. Never regretted it. Spent money elsewhere, other times...

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  18. The scones are delicious! We had them with creamy tomato soup (with tomatoes from our garden) for supper tonight. Will definitely make again.

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  19. Could you clarify if it's baking soda or baking powder for this recipe? The list of ingredients says baking powder, but the instructions say baking soda.

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  20. I understand your predicament. We have to be practical these days. As you say, why spend a fortune on a big party when you can save it for house downpayment. The scones are delicious by the way.

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~Garrett

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